Homeowner’s Insurance can be costly if you have an older home. In some cases with a newer home, you may even have a chance to reduce the amount you are paying on your insurance premium. This can be done through a Wind Mitigation Inspection form filled out by a licensed home inspector. But how can you maximize your return on the wind mitigation? Did you know there are upgrades you can complete to save even more money?

How does it work?

A wind mitigation is a Florida Standard form that requires insurance companies to give home owners discounts on certain home upgrades that are safer during high wind events like hurricanes. The form is seven questions and each question is an available discount. Let’s get into how you can optimize your wind mitigation for more money into your pocket!

Question 1 – Home Age

If you house is newer than March 1st, 2002, then you qualify for this discount. Unfortunately, it is not possible to upgrade to this discount if you home application permit was applied before the date above, as the date pertains to updated building code.

Question 2 – Roof Age

If your home has a roof newer than March 1, 2002, then you qualify for this discount. If you do not currently meet these standards, you can talk with your insurance company about how much you would save if you updated your wind mitigation to reflect a new roof. From there, you can complete a cost analysis to see how much you would save on your premium, minus the cost of the new roof. Ultimately, your roof will need to replaced from regular aging anyway, but you may find it to be beneficial to replace it sooner rather than later.

Question 3 – Nail Size & Spacing

This question depends on the age of the roof. In essence, as a new roof gets installed, a roofer uses larger sized nails spaced at a closer average distance to each other. Therefore, to receive this discount, utilize the information above to see if you need a new roof as well.

Question 4 – Roof to Wall Attachment

This is perhaps the biggest area of savings for home owners in Florida. If your home is older, think older than 1995, it is possible you have what is called a “toenail” discount. Check with your previous home inspector or your insurance company to find out what discount you currently have.

If you do not have marked “toenail” on your wind mitigation and instead: “clip” or “wrap”, then you can skip this question.

If you have toenails marked, congratulations! You can save A LOT! Toenails can be upgraded to a clip or wrap using new hardware and building code. Here is what you should do: call your insurance company to see how much money you can save with a “clip” discount. Then, call a few “wind mitigation retrofit” companies to ask for quotes on your home. If you need assistance, contact our office and we would be happy to give you referrals.

After calling for quotes, and verifying you can make your return from insurance premiums, you are able to proceed with your insurance savings with having this home upgrade!

Question 5 – Roof Geometry

Unfortunately, this question pertains to how your home was built so it is not possible to simply upgrade to receive this discount.

Question 6 – Secondary Water Resistance (barrier and roof underlayment)

If you are having a new roof installed, consider it vital to install secondary water resistance or an SWR, also known as, a peel and stick underlayment. This type of roof underlayment self-adheres to the roof decking and creates a water tight seal underneath your regular roofing material.

The best thing about SWR, is it qualifies for a discount! Talk to your roofers about installing an SWR if you are having a new roof put on soon. You may have to purchase it at a premium with your roofer.

Question 7 – Opening Protection

The hardest discount to receive may or may not be worth the investment. This discount pertains to installing impact rated shutters on every opening of your home. The cost of this can be high, therefore, you should definitely check with your insurance agent to see how much money you would be saving with this discount. In most cases, it is not worth the investment rather only for peace of mind during a high wind event. However, if you live near the coast of Florida, this could be very helpful towards your savings account.

If you are looking to receive a wind mitigation, contact your local home inspection company.

This post was written by: Atkinson Inspection Services of Central Florida

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